11 September 2012 by Web Bureau
Facebook is an excellent opportunity for schools to connect with families and share information. If a school is consistent in keeping the information updated and accurate, people will come to rely on the Facebook Page as a resource to find out (about) what’s going on at the school.
Here are a few guidelines to get you started.............
1. Your Cover Photo
Your Facebook cover photo is the first thing that is going to capture your audience.
Here are some tips for your picture:
• Show off your campus
• Highlight what you’re known for
• Include your students
• Show off landmarks
• Promote key Alumni
• Go off campus
Make sure the photo is high quality and sized correctly (851px X 315px).
2. Make your ‘About’ page interesting
One of the first things a new visitor will do on your Facebook page is check out your “about” information.
Make sure you take full advantage of this area. Follow these tips to fill out your “about” section in a way that makes it useful to those who read it…
• Add your mission statement
• Make sure to include all your contact info
• Enter your address w/ map
• Include links to your website and other social networks
• Include calls-to-action
3. Fill in Your History and Milestones
Think of at least five milestones that help tell your story and add pictures to illustrate them. Here are a few quick ideas to help you start…
• Date when school was founded
• Significant accomplishments, awards, recognitions, etc
• Launch of new programs, colleges/schools, community work, etc
• Significant sporting events
• New deans, principals, presidents, etc…
• Significant community outreach/services/programs
4. Share Photos
Photos are an excellent way to showcase school culture. A school may choose to use photos to highlight a variety of aspects of the school, including:
• Celebrations of student work
• Field trips
• Experiential learning activities
• Assemblies or school-wide celebrations
• Recognition of individual students for excellence
5. Share Videos
Likewise, videos can be used to showcase different things, including:
• A variety of learning, including different subjects and age groups
• Assemblies or school-wide events
• Community meetings
• High caliber teaching and student engagement
• Students, teachers, and members of the community discussing what makes the school special
• Songs, chants, or cheers that are used as a part of school culture or academics
• Sporting events
• Plays, concerts and other performances
6. Share upcoming events
A Facebook Page is an excellent opportunity for a school to post upcoming events using the Facebook Events app. This app not only allows people to RSVP, but can also lead to increased attendance at functions and allow the school to update attendees and remind them about the event.
7. Make school announcements
Facebook is a great space for schools to make announcements to parents and students. Consistency is the key here. If the page is consistently updated with school news, followers will develop an expectation that they can count on the Facebook Page when they want to learn about something concerning the school.
8. Use Facebook discussions
One opportunity lies in the Discussions tab on the Facebook Page. A school can create a discussion about a specific topic and allow members of the community to share their thoughts within the thread. Admins will be able to moderate the thread and remove any posts that are inappropriate.
9. Get the Most out of Your Posts
The most important goal your Facebook page should have is to create engagement. You need to build relationships with your community and encourage them to connect with you.
So how do you create more engagement?
• Pinning posts allows you to keep your important messages at the top of your Facebook page for seven days.
• Highlighting posts gives you the opportunity to make certain things stand out on your page.
• Promoting posts enables you to reach a larger audience.
10. Pay Attention to Your Fans
Facebook’s Timeline for businesses makes it such that fan-initiated engagement and content takes a back seat to brand-initiated engagement and content. This means Facebook no longer puts fan posts directly into your wall.
This means you need to actively monitor what your fans are doing on your page and, when appropriate, highlight their content.
Here’s how to highlight fan content… Go to the Admin bar at top of your fan page (you’ve got to be logged in as an admin). Then hit the Edit page button > Use Activity Log. Dig through the activity log to find posts from your fans that you want to highlight. Once you find something you can hit the little circle located to the right of the activity, click on it, and select “Highlight on Page”.
You’ve just made one fan very happy!
Before sharing any information about any student, school leaders must ensure they’ve obtained consent from the child’s guardian. Additionally, schools should avoid sharing last names of students as this can potentially jeopardize their safety (and may be illegal). With a little work, schools can benefit from Facebook without risking anyone’s safety.